Monday, June 6, 2011

Early Graphic Novel Review - The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Guay (4/5 stars)

The Last DragonReading level: Young Adult/Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Size: 144 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: October 4, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1595827982
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from
Rating: 4/5 stars

I saw the beautiful artwork for this graphic novel at Book Expo of America at Dark Horse's booth there.  Then it was available on netgalley(dot)com for review so I had to download it to read.  The story has a very classic fairy tale feel to it; the artwork is beautiful and flowing.

When Tansy and her father are in the forest Tansy discovers Dragonsbane...which only exists where dragons are.  But there aren't any Dragons left in the world anymore, are there?  When livestock (and people) start disappearing Tansy begins to think otherwise.  Now the town of Meddlesome will need a hero to fight a dragon.  Except maybe a hero alone isn't enough...maybe the hero needs a smart girl like Tansy to help him out.

The artwork throughout is very flowing and beautiful; almost like impressionist painting at points.  While I grew to enjoy the artwork and loved how Tansy, the dragon, and the surroundings were depicted I did have a couple problems with it.  The first is that you can't really tell the facial expressions on any of the characters; the are all very stoic looking.  The second is that the beauty of the artwork lends a very serious and solemn quality to a cute and fun story and, at points in the story, makes the story more serious than I think it is supposed to be.  So, while the artwork is perfect and stunning at is also a bit too serious and formal for the story at times.

The story is very classic fairy tale and I enjoyed it.  The plot is predictable and the writing simple; but that is what this is...a simple folk story.  Yolen does throw some tongue and cheek humor in at places and this adds a bit of fun to the story.

Overall a solid graphic novel.  The artwork is beautiful but doesn't always follow the tone of the story.  The story is a straight-forward fairy tale with a folk tale feel to it and a little humor laced throughout.  Fans of fairy tales and dragons will probably enjoy this book.  It is appropriate for all ages.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Fantasy Reading Challenge
- Graphic Novels Challenge List
- E-book Reading Challenge

The Last Dragon

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